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Nutrient - Hemp seed oil may ease eczema

By Holly Taylor BSc (H0ns) DipCNM MBANT

Hemp seed oil is an especially rich source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, in a favourable 2:1 ratio. It is also a natural source of vitamin E. Now, a study, published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment by Finnish scientists, suggests that regular consumption of hemp seed oil may benefit eczema sufferers.

During the trial, 20 eczema suffers were randomised to receive either two tablespoons of olive oil or two tablespoons of hemp seed oil each day, for eight weeks. After a four week break, the groups were then swapped over. Blood levels of fatty acids and water loss from the skin were tested after each supplementation period. A patient questionnaire provided additional information on skin dryness, itchiness and usage of dermal medications.

Levels of the omega 3 fatty acid alpha linolenic acid and the omega 6 fatty acids linoleic acid and gamma linolenic acid were increased in patients’ blood samples, after hemp seed oil supplementation. Water loss from the skin and use of dermal medication both decreased and patients reported significant improvements in both skin dryness and itchiness after hemp seed oil supplementation. The team now wants to carry out further studies to investigate the role of hemp seed oil in eczema. 

Article References

J Callaway et al. Efficacy of dietary hempseed oil in patients with atopic dermatitis. J Dermatolog Treat. 2005 Apr;16(2):87-94

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